(Collector's Choice)

Over the past five years, Collector’s Choice have established themselves as the final word for collectible imports and domestic U.S. CD remasters. In early 2005, CC’s in house label reissued four CDs from West Coast pop maven Andrew Gold. Starting with his 1975 album Andrew Gold, the singer songwriter went on to release What’s Wrong With This Picture? (1976 produced by Peter Asher) and All This And Heaven Too (1978, now with a bonus cover of the Beatles’ hit “Dr. Robert”), although he completely outdid himself with his 1979 album, Whirlwind. Often referred to as Gold’s best album of the ‘70s, Whirlwind was also his hardest rocking album to date and contains a slew of dynamic power pop gems including the title track and a blistering lead off rocker called “Kiss This One Goodbye”. Commenting on the liner notes Gold adds, “In 1979 I began work on an unusual album for me. A rock album. It’s funny, now that it’s been years since the record was made, a lot of my fans like this album the best. Go figure.” Gold may have been known as a pop lite kind of guy, but the 2005 Collector’s Choice remaster of Whirlwind places Gold into a solid pop-rock category. Well worth the time for fans of Gold’s West Coast pop sound, Whirlwind along with his other CC remasters feature detailed liner notes, bonus cuts and photos and provide a solid introduction to an underrated pop maestro. Other 2005 reissues on Collector’s Choice worth checking out include Terry Melcher (a CD reissue of his 1974 Reprise Records Lp with Ry Cooder, Chris Hillman, Clarence White), Doug Sahm - Groover’s Paradise (1974 with Stu Cook and Doug Clifford from Creedence Clearwater) and a CC remaster from the Del-Fi Records catalog, The Impacts - Wipe Out! (1962 instro surf-rock classic with guitarist Merrell Fankhauser). Most CC remaster titles feature bonus tracks and all feature excellent digital sound and extensive liner notes. www.ccmusic.com


Watership Down

It’s taken a while but late in 2004 EMI Records in England reissued Music Inspired By Watership Down—the 1977 album by Swedish keyboard master Bo Hansson. Assisted by Swedish guitar ace Kenny Håkansson and other top players, Hansson recorded and released some of the most adventurous and melodic progressive instrumental rock of the era and although he’s been dormant—at least on record for the past couple decades—the albums Hansson made with Silence Records producer Anders Lind remain vital and refreshing. After leaving Silence, Hansson and Håkhansson switched labels for his 1977 album El-Ahrairah, which was released on Lp in the U.K. and the U.S. as Music Inspired By Watership Down. Now, more than 25 years after Bo’s final instrumental album, EMI in the U.K. reissued the first four Bo Hansson solo albums—his first Lord Of The Rings (1969), Magician’s Hat (1972), Attic Thoughts (1975) and Watership Down, complete with bonus tracks and intriguing liner notes. Unlike the late ‘90s Silence Records CDs of these progressive music masterpieces with their Swedish titles, these 2004 EMI remasters feature all the info needed by English speaking music lovers to rediscover some certified ‘70s prog-rock classicss. www.Silence.se

interview added, written and produced by Robert Silverstein
date: June 18, 2010

mwe3: Sad to say Bo Hansson died this year (April 10, 1943 - April 24, 2010). Can you say something about his death, any reasons or illness? Also can you say something about how Bo was viewed in Sweden and why he stopped recording?

KH: I am sorry to say that I don't know how he died. We haven´t had any contact since around ‘80-81, as I can remember. He was well respected during mid sixties up to the mid seventies, then he more or less faded away. I don´t know why he stopped recording, probably too much chemical substances, that killed his ability to put himself together in that amount that a recording craves. That always was a bit of a problem. If not to him, to the rest of the people involved.

mwe3: Can you remember meeting Bo and how you remember working with him in the early years? Which album were you and Bo most on the same page musically? Would Bo give you instructions on solos or were the melodies your own?

KH: I have a vague memories of times in studio with Bo. After the first takes, where the basics were recorded with studio musicians, he was seldom seen. He was somewhere in the building, and I was in the control room, or in the recording room testing sounds. The he came down with an idea or two, which he showed me, and then we put it on tape, then he disappeared again. Sometimes he gave instructions, sometimes he didn't.

mwe3: Can you remember the reaction to Lord Of The Rings back in 1969 and how that influenced your playing? Also can you say something about meeting Bo for the first time?

KH: Lord Of The Rings was a really big event then. Everybody seemed to read the books, and his music was very much in the same kind of spirit, and I can find a lot of his moods and spirits also in my music. If being influenced by Bo or not, I don´t know. Bo and I was raised in the same area just north of Stockholm, and I knew about him since 63-64, when he was a guitarist playing with some guys from the same school as he, and me. Once my brother came home with an electric guitar, that he had borrowed by Bo. I then had just begun playing guitar myself, so of course I couldn’t keep away from it. Later I bought the same kind, Hofner.

mwe3: Did Bo ever discuss any of his musical influences and did he talk about his early musical education or preferences in keyboards. The albums were recorded really early on so there's very little to disguise the musical purity of those albums...

KH: No, we never had any discussion about those matters. As far as I know, he got a lot of inspiration from the music heard in Chinese restaurants. You know, the scale you get playing the black keys on piano. Otherwise he was self educated, and A-minor was his favorite key.

mwe3: Favorite Bo Hansson concert or appearance and also do you have a great Jimi Hendrix story?

KH: Some of the concerts with the drummer Carlsson, under the name "Hansson & Carlsson" was what I held the highest at that time. That was a great concept, out of the ordinary, Hammond and drums. Very psychedelic. No, I don´t have any Jimi Hendrix story. My band 67 - 68 did three gigs in Sweden as a sub-sub-act to Jimi January 68, that's all.

mwe3: I remember you told me some story about Hendrix a long time ago...

KH: We had a gig in Gothenburg, Sweden, as sub-sub for Hendrix. We then stayed at the same hotel as Hendrix. While we were checking in, Jimi came rolling through the main entrance door with a 5m feather stola around his neck. He was quite hmm, unsteady. He went for the elevator same time as we. Together we went up to his floor, and what I then was thinking was, he seemed so tall on stage, but not in the elevator in "private". After letting him off at his level, we continued to ours. The same night he threw a TV set out through the window of his room. 6th or 7th floor. He did his concert the next day, with one of his hands wrapped up in a bandage.

mwe3: What's doing with you musically in 2010 and is there a mountain still to climb?

KH: I am working on an album with my present project, Psychedelic Dream, and hopefully the CD will be released this year. Kebnekajse, the highest mountain of Sweden, and the hardest playing fiddle music band of Sweden has started new recordings, for release February 2011.

mwe3: Any favorite Swedish musicians or bands?

KH: It might seem ignorant, I don´t have any. There are a lot of musicians I do respect for being productive and courageous, but I never listen to any nowadays. That is a result of being a musician since 1964. Have heard so much, have seen so many fantastic artists come and go, that today I am so "hard to please" in music. I am looking for truth in music, where to go?




Just how The Shadows got screwed out of making it in America might be laid at the feet of Danish guitarist Jorgen Ingmann, who in a simple twist of fate had his version of “Apache” released in the U.S. at the same time as The Shadows were enjoying a number one hit with the song in every other country in the world. Why Atlantic / Atco chose to release Ingmann’s version in the U.S. and not roll the dice and stick with the cooler Shads original goes beyond words (even for an instrumental!) and ultimately falls into the musical twilight zone of time. Pale in comparison to the Shadows 1960 EMI number one—don’t forget the song was written for the English quartet in 1960 by the great Jerry Lordan on the back of a tour bus—Ingmann’s laconic version is low key yet, in retrospect is interesting in its own right. More Bert Weedon than Hank Marvin, with a touch of Les Paul, Ingmann nevertheless displays an interesting Nordic sensibility in his guitar playing, all of which is amply displayed on a 2004 two-fer CD reissue on Collectables pairing his ‘61/62 Atco albums Apache / The Many Guitars Of Jorgen Ingmann. The Danish are great music lovers and have turned out some great players over the years and for fans of Euro-tinged instrumetal music, Ingmann certainly provides a unique guitar history that’s well worth checking out. www.oldies.com


Music For Airports

Back in 1978 rock icon Eno released his first major instrumental opus of ambient music entitled Music For Airports. Flashback several years before to 1975 when Eno had released an album of neoclassical music released on the Obscure label entitled Discreet Music, inspired by his early mentors Erik Satie, La Monte Young, Steve Reich and Philip Glass. The liberating minimalism of Discreet Music in 1975 provided the perfect backdrop for the truly significant release of Music For Airports: Ambient 1, which is still regarded as Eno’s first ambient electronic music masterpiece. Conceived and produced by Eno “as an aid for those with a fear of flying or perhaps just a feeling of anxiety about whether they will ever see their luggage again”, the four part instrumental opus never got piped in to airports world wide, yet Eno’s equivalent of an aural sedative set the stage for the New Age boom of the late ‘70s and certainly the ‘80s. Eno followed Music For Airports in 1980, collaborating with Harold Budd on an album entitled Plateaux Of Mirrors: Ambient 2. By this time Eno was on a roll and in the eyes of progressive music lovers could do no wrong. In 1982 Eno created another masterpiece of ambient electronica. Entitled On Land: Ambient 4, the album featured Eno assisted by several players including Jon Hassell (trumpet) and Michael Brook (guitar). The eight track On Land, along with Plateaux Of Mirrors, Music For Airports and Discreet Music were reissued late in 2004 by Astralwerks. Remastered using ‘Class A’ analog electronics combined with the best analog to digital conversion, each CD now sounds ‘as Brian Eno intended them to be heard.’ In addition, each 2004 Ambient CD remaster features liner notes by Eno and spiffy digi-pak design. Eno’s calling as the inventor, spokesman, architect and mapmaker of “Ambient” music is truly realized on these living, breathing artifacts of historic minimalist music magic. Although ‘Ambient’ music has splintered into a wealth of categories including ambient dub, ambient house, ambient techno, ambient chill, it’s a valuable lesson to hear the art form in it’s purest, incipient state...just as Eno first imagined it. www.astralwerks.com


Fly Jefferson Airplane

Let’s face it, the ‘60s wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun as it was without The Jefferson Airplane. Started by Paul Kantner, Marty Balin, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Cassidy and late great drummer Spencer Dryden, the group took off in full flight upon enlisting lead vocalist Grace Slick. From the ‘67 release of Surrealistic Pillow till they laid the name to rest in 1972, the Airplane invented a new rock language, influencing scores of bands who worshipped their free-form, freaky approach to West Coast psychedelia. With the 2004 DVD release of Fly Jefferson Airplane, Eagle Vision pays tribute to one of America’s great rock legends. The nearly two hour DVD offers a captivating collection of the Airplane’s best live performances as captured on ‘60s TV shows like The Bell Telephone Hour, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Perry Como Show as well as clips from The Monterey Pop Festival and the documentary Go Ride The Music. Linking these incredible video performances are recent interviews with all the members who vividly articulate the legacy behind the groundbreaking innovative Airplane sound. Also featured are moments from the band’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame capped off by liner notes from Airplane expert Jeff Tamarkin. www.jeffersonairplane.com

Specs Appeal / Tasty

When it comes to CD reissues from The Shadows, it doesn’t get alot better than the titles coming these past few years from the France-based Magic Records. Magic has done a great job all around on a wide range of Shadows CD remasters and most recently, in 2004 they reissued a fine double CD set combining the late ‘70s Shadows classics Specs Appeal and Tasty. Both Specs Appeal (from 1975) and Tasty (from 1977) presented a range of hard rocking Shadows instrumental guitar tracks with Specs Appeal adding in a number of vocal tracks as well. On this essential Magic double CD reissue of Specs Appeal / Tasty, both the original 13 track Specs Appeal and the 11 track Tasty track lineup are further enhanced with a range of bonus vocal and instrumental tracks combining for a total of 36 tunes over the two discs. Both of these now classic albums were among the final studio albums of original music The Shadows would release on EMI Records, and they remain stellar examples of the brilliant, though often overlooked instrumental and vocal music that guitarist Hank B. Marvin and his Shadows band mates recorded in the mid ‘70s. Check out the Magic web site for information on all their fine Shadows CD remasters. www.magic-records.com



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